Raising the Successful Child: A Parenting Manual
There's nothing like a little self reflection to help you start off this parenting gig on the right foot. If you're expecting, have you considered how you want to parent? What you want -- and don't want -- to do? Dr. M. Mark McKee shared with Pregnancy and Baby readers a list of questions parents-to-be should ask themselves as they embark upon this exciting journey.
Having a new baby is quite possibly the most exciting and emotionally thrilling experience of your life. I remember when we were adopting -- nothing compares to the feeling of almost being a parent.
Parents-to-be often spend a lot of time reading about baby gear and safety and what to expect, but what about self-reflection? Have you considered how you want to raise your children?
Dr. M. Mark McKee, author of Raising a Successful Child (The Manual), has a "test" to help parents define their assumptions about raising children. Going through these questions with your paretner can help eliminate conflicts in parenting and ensure you're both on the same page.
Consider how you want to raise your children. What do you do to provide a home that serves to promote security and independence? Dr. McKee says that without a clear plan, parents are at risk for unknowingly repeating the same unhealthy approaches to child rearing they may have experienced as children themselves.
Dr. McKee suggests sitting down and really thinking about the following questions and discussing with them with your partner.
- What does this child mean to me/us? (Multiple meanings are healthiest)
- What or how does having this child change my/our perception of myself/ourselves?
- How do you see yourself as a mother or father?
- How do you see your spouse as a mother or father?
- How do you see yourself as a parent?
- What in your past is likely to either positively or negatively impact your parenting?
- What in your past would you like to repeat in parenting your own child?
- What in your past would you not like to repeat in parenting your own child?
- What in your spouse's past would you like him/her to repeat or not repeat in parenting your child?
- How can you and your spouse help each other avoid repeating unwanted/undesirable parenting techniques?
As you parent, you're likely to adjust your style and thoughts as you go, but going into it with a plan and constant self-reflection can only help!